Mohs Surgery

What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

Originally developed in the 1930s, Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an advanced and effective skin cancer treatment procedure. As the most exact and precise method of tumor removal, it minimizes the chance of cancer recurrence.  This outpatient (in-office) procedure utilizes a microscope, mapping, and marking to evaluate 100% of the skin margin. The Mohs procedure involves surgically removing skin cancer layer by layer and examining the tissue under a microscope until healthy, cancer-free tissue around the tumor is reached (called clear margins).  It offers the highest chance for identification and complete removal of the skin cancer while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.  ​Although there are always exceptions to the rule, most tumors require 1 to 3 stages for complete removal.  Depending on the complexity of the skin cancer and the number of layers needed for complete removal, your surgery could take from 1 – 4 hours.  Please read our Mohs surgery brochure below for more information.  
Preparing for your surgery instructions.pdf
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Mohs surgery brochure.pdf
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What are the Indications for Mohs Surgery?

​It is important to note that Mohs surgery is not appropriate for the treatment of all skin cancers. Mohs micrographic surgery typically is reserved for those skin cancers that have recurred following previous treatment, or for cancers that are at high risk for recurrence. Mohs surgery also is indicated for cancers located in areas such as the nose, ears, eyelids, lips, hairline, hands, feet, and genitals, in which maximal preservation of healthy tissue is critical for cosmetic or functional purposes. 

What are my Options for Post-Surgical Reconstruction?

​After the skin cancer has been removed, your Mohs surgeon will consider various repair options. These may include:
  1. Allowing the wound to heal without any additional surgical repair (“healing by secondary intention”).
  2. Wound repair performed by our Mohs Surgeon.
  3. Wound repair performed by our Plastic Surgeon - Dr. Leonik Ahumada.  Often times and especially for larger defects or critical areas such as the nose, lips and ears we will take extra caution and have your Mohs surgery wound repaired by Dr. Ahumada who is a board certified Plastic Surgeon with over 10 years of experience.